The changes to Apprenticeships have now been in place since May 2017 and many L&D, HR or recruitment teams are well underway planning and designing their new apprenticeship programmes. A key part of those plans should naturally be to engage with the workforce so they understand the new programmes and the benefits.
Although difficult to dispute the value of apprenticeships – there are still a lot of misunderstandings around why experienced members of staff should do them! Here are some tips on how you can start the engagement and communication process.
- Involve and educate all your managers early in the process. Map out the apprenticeship process first and present it to your managers. Make sure they understand the changes and are clear about their responsibilities, the benefits and how they will be supported.
- Regular communication. Apprentice programmes are more likely to succeed when there is lots of regular communication between all parties. This will ensure issues are dealt with quickly and disruption will be minimized.
- Raise awareness of potential safeguarding issues. If you plan to work with young or vulnerable people, you may need to look at your approach to safeguarding and make sure managers have clarity around their responsibilities and expectations. Ideally have a policy in place and offer training if required.
- Ensure employees clearly understand how the programmes work before they start. Spend time with employees upfront to give them clarity, gain their commitment and ensure they are able to undertake the work needed. This investment in time upfront will pay dividends.
- Be clear about time to learn and how the business will support the learners. Make sure that employees clearly know when they are able to spend time during work hours on their learning. Many businesses start programmes without giving clarity to their employees and it can create unnecessary pressure and issues if not clarified.
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